As I’ve mentioned previously, The JCW MCS that I’m currently testing is shod with the new black R105 18″ JCW wheels with standard spec Dunlop SP Sport 01 DSST runflats. And I have to mention that I’ve really grown to like the look. I’m not sure if it would work on a black car like my own MCS, but on Chili Red and White it gives the car a very racy, spirited feel. But don’t think that, just because they’re black, they can’t get dirty.

I get asked often about the OEM 18″ wheel tire combination and if it’s worth the money. The easy answer is no. You simply can’t logically justify the performance benefits considering the price when there’s other fantastic 18″ options out there at 2/3rds the price. No, the real reason to get them is because you simply can’t imagine not having them on your MINI and you love the look. And as long as you have the coin to drop, it’s a great investment in happiness if nothing else.

Now that said there is one way you can improve the OEM set-up right out of the box; skip the runflats. The Dunlop SP Sport 01s that come with the JCW 18″s aren’t bad tires, they’re just not great. And considering the huge improvement in ride quality non-runflats make to any wheel on the MINI, it’s really a no brainer. That is, as long as you have a charged cell phone and the number for roadside assistance handy.